The Open Proxy Monitor which has been provided by the Blitzed IRC network has been shut down. The maintainer of the Blitzed OPM project Andy Smith, nicknamed grifferz, announced the closure earlier today in this email.
OPM was in use by IRC networks to check incoming connections for open proxies, often a sign of being a floodbot, drone or otherwise infected with spyware or virusses.
“We have completely failed to get in touch with our contact at the hosting company and don’t really want to escalate things there given the free nature of the hosting,” grifferz explained. The database was so large that it is near to impossible for the team to backup, or find a new location to continue the service. Added to that, most of the team members do not posses the time anymore to keep the service running.
“… recently (the last month or two) we started noticing problems that would indicate hardware fault, perhaps memory or disk controller,” grifferz explained to IRC-Junkie. “A bit over a week ago the server dropped off the network completely and since then we have been unable to get a response out of our contact there who set us up with the service.”
A lot of time from the team members was consumed by replying to abuse reports. To keep a reliable database, the team would proxyscan IPs listed to them, but by their nature, these scans look exactly like portscans resulting in abuse reports. “It is important to reply to these to assure people that we aren’t being abusive, because otherwise our sponsoring hosts would be blacklisted from much of the Internet,” grifferz explained.
“I am guessing that most IRC networks of any significant size used OPM,” grifferz said to IRC-Junkie. ” It is difficult to get exact figures as there isn’t any registration procedure.” The OPM was a popular alternative for IRC networks to other similar databases as OPM was oriented only to open proxies and not open mail relays. Also, IPs would be removed much faster from the database, especially if coming from dynamic (dialup-) ranges to prevent false positives.
IRC-Junkie asked grifferz if the service might return. “… we have lost some data that makes this a bit difficult and also we have to acknowledge that the project had been running without as much attention from us as it really required for around the last year.” If they can get in contact with the sponsoring company and get access to the data, the project might return in a timespan of 3 to 6 months. “Now this has happened it seems like a good time to step back and evaluate what we are doing here.”
A final word from grifferz; “I’d like to say thank you to all those who have supported the project, including those who have use BOPM and set it to report to us, other kinds of proxy reporters, and of course Erik Fears for writing the BOPM software and the proxy scanning library we used.”
“At this stage those in the IRC community still using the OPM DNS list should stop doing so, but we would appreciate if we could continue receiving reports if possible, for the time being.”
Thanks to Ed and Francisco for the tip.